Afternoon Tea Wedding in Oklahoma
July 11, 2014
CasualOutdoor WeddingsFall Weddings
Lovies, you're about to see a wedding 17 years in the making. It's a story that started in middle school study hall and blossomed into the most an epic celebration of lifelong love. Deisy Photography captured this afternoon soiree and there's much more to be found in the gallery.
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From the Bride... Our wedding was a fairytale day 17 years in the making. Denny and I met in middle school study hall when we were both 12 years old. Since that time, we’ve had years of friendship, shared passions, life experiences, happiness, sadness, and finally a deep and lasting love for each other that we celebrated on October 20th, 2013.

We are both graphic designers, and we try to approach life in fun and creative ways that are unique to us. We knew our wedding style would reflect this, and that we would want to both equally take part in the creation of our special day. It’s a unique challenge to take on such a large creative project with your significant other Luckily the process taught us that we not only work seamlessly together but that our work enhances and is complimented by each other.

The budget was a big focus in the planning stages of our wedding. We are handy people by nature and whole heartedly subscribe to the DIY mentality. In the months leading up to the wedding, we purchased our first home which put even more emphasis on keeping ourselves within a reasonable budget. With our creative backgrounds we knew that we could bring our vision to life on a budget, but we also knew that we couldn’t do it alone.

We reached out to friends and clients in our creative circle, and we were blown away by the inventive and artistic solutions that we received from them. We also drew on our own skills as graphic designers to create the invitations, programs, signage for the reception, and send-off flag favors for the guests. Being able to personalize our items in this way really set the stage for a wedding that was completely unique to our personalities.

The two venues that we chose for the day are special to us and fully represent our city of Norman, Oklahoma. The outdoor courtyard of the student union at the University of Oklahoma was the backdrop for our ceremony. Choosing this venue was easy as we went to school together at the university and graduated from the School of Art in 2006. I have lived in Norman my whole life and am a fourth generation graduate of the university so I knew it would mean a lot for my family to see us married there. Not to mention that the university has some of the prettiest architecture in town! Our reception venue was the historic train depot in the heart of the old downtown. It was the perfect, small scale setting for our intimate reception. Both venues reflected the “prairie deco” style that we were going for; a little bit of elegance on the Oklahoma plains.

Although I have deep Oklahoma roots, I am an Anglophile at heart, and it was important for me to incorporate some British elements into the styling and decor of the wedding. It was a challenge to mesh these two influences, but the results were perfectly “us”. British-inspired elements included 500 feet of gold bunting flags, lovingly hand sewn by my amazing mother, the Oxford-like university setting for the ceremony, and a tea themed reception.

Our final artistic influence was the season of the wedding: fall. The answer to the question, “What color should this be?” was almost always gold or another color in the autumnal family. We purposefully avoided what I termed an “apples and hay” fall wedding as this was not our interpretation of the season. We wanted to focus on natural elements and colors, and to showcase the pleasant weather and beautiful, intense sunlight. We used minimal flowers in the ceremony and at the reception, opting for budget-friendly dried bouquets for the bridesmaids and golden potted mums for a splash of color on the ceremony stage. For my bouquet, I carried a sheaf of wheat which was a controversial choice but I loved it. Very inexpensive yet meaningful to me as it once again represented my heritage and the history of our state.

My wedding dress and accessories were almost all budget-friendly finds that I was able to repurpose and restyle to suit the look I was going for. My veil actually came from a vintage store and cost $27! It originally had a Juliet cap attached to it but I removed it and added a comb instead for a more modern look. I got lucky that the lace exactly matched the more modern dress I had already bought. I wore two dresses on the day, both of which I picked out and bought from a clearance rack! I got really lucky with these finds as neither dress needed alterations. Although I loved my wedding dress, I chose to get a second dress for the reception so that I could dance comfortably and be able to take off my 6” ceremony shoes! (Denny is 6’5”)

For the reception, we opted to have a proper high tea in the afternoon instead of a full meal. This meant sourcing and trying tea flavors and brands, and searching out a food vendor who knew what a proper scone was supposed to taste like! Not an easy task in the middle of Oklahoma. Luckily, we are blessed with a couple of talented and adventurous friends who own a local cafe and bakery. With barely any direction from us, the two of them and their two young pastry assistants created a spread worthy of a queen! Since we were having desserts and tea, we kept our wedding cake simple and small enough for just the two of us. We also made sure that two of every kind of dessert was kept back for us to sample later just in case we missed anything on the day.

We had about 100 guests at our wedding which was the perfect size for us. We were able to actually talk with everyone there and really enjoy the presence of far-flung friends and family. All too soon, however, the magical day was over and it was time to travel the short two blocks from the depot to our new home.

I cannot say enough how perfect and meaningful our wedding was to us. I think it’s a great example of how it’s possible to have a very beautiful and satisfying wedding on a small scale and budget. Staying true to our roots and interests was the key for creating the perfect wedding day that truly represented us. And having a good, creative circle of friends and enthusiastic help from our families didn’t hurt either!